地球星人 🌏 Book Club ・ Week 15

地球星人 ・ Week 15

Week 15 12 March 2022
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Vocab Sheet

Anybody should feel free to add to the vocab sheet. Read the guidelines on the first sheet- even if a word is not yet included you can use the spreadsheet as a tool to get help.

Spoiler Courtesy

Please follow these rules to avoid inadvertent ネタバレ. If you’re unsure whether something should have a spoiler tag, err on the side of using one.

  1. Any potential spoiler for the current week’s reading need only be covered by a spoiler tag. Predictions and conjecture made by somebody who has not read ahead still falls into this category.
  2. Any potential spoilers for external sources need to be covered by a spoiler tag and include a label (outside of the spoiler tag) of what might be spoiled. These include but are not limited to: other book club picks, other books, games, movies, anime, etc. I recommend also tagging the severity of the spoiler (for example, I may still look at minor spoilers for something that I don’t intend to read soon).
  3. Any information from later in the book than the current week’s reading (including trigger warnings that haven’t yet manifested) need to be hidden by spoiler tags and labeled as such.

Discussion Questions

Feel free to use these questions as a framework or a starting point for responses. I also encourage people to post their own discussion questions!

  1. What sentence/passage gave you the most difficulty? Feel free to request some help, or if you figured it out on your own break it down for the rest of us!

  2. What was your favorite new vocab word from this week’s reading?

  3. Was there any passage that you found particularly intriguing? Did it resonate with you (either positively or negatively)? Was it surprising? Offer any insight or new perspective? Was it just beautifully written?

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Jeez, these families are all very nosy and meddlesome about their children and their spouses, aren’t they? It’s fascinating to see how the parents are all ‘managing’ their kids’ marriages.

And Kise’s nerve, blaming Natsuki for her problems! If you sleep around extravagantly (love that translation for 奔放 lol) you really don’t need your sister to rat you out, there will be loads of loose ends anyway! But I guess she has always resented her sister…

I can only imagine how bad the slaughter was if this was a reasonable thing for Yuu to say: 「二人とも、もういいよ。たぶんもう死んでると思うし、これ以上やったら挽肉になっちゃうよ」 [Murata’s works in general] Truly the Murata we know and love :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I thought this bit of reasoning from Tomoya was very illustrative:「いや、この地球星人たちはおかしいよ。なぜ子供を殺されたからといって、君を殺しにくる? 君に人類の子孫を残せと迫りにくるならわかるよ。『工場』は地球星人の繁殖を目的とした組織だからね。でも、彼らは君を地球星人にカウントしている筈なのに、わざわざ自分の手で更に減らしにくる。まったく非合理的だ」They have built their entire concept of what is ‘logical’ for Earthlings to do around the supposition that their number one priority is to swell their numbers. Love as a driving force (both behind procreation and behind vengeance) doesn’t even occur to them. Goes to show what a miserable, loveless childhood they all must have had.

Also, I think I know where this is heading next week… :thinking:

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Wait, what did just happen? :flushed:

So much for the intimate “heart-to-heart” between sisters. So did Kise really follow Natsuki that night, remove the evidence from the furnace, and then decades later record a conversation in a karaoke room? Everything seems to point to her, especially the fact that the couple knew to go to Akishina, but maybe there’s something else going on? The book really keeps surprising me with things out of left field.

Question about karaoke, as I’ve never been to one: Is your singing, or whatever else you do in there, automatically recorded, and the recording made available to you? Is recording yourself a service you can request? Or would you need to use other means (eg a phone) to record a conversation? It seemed to me a very strange place to meet from the start, but thought it might be regarded as more private.

Does anyone understand what Natsuki has to do with Kise’s marriage disintegrating, or Kise sleeping around in her youth? Why did Kise threaten to reveal all, what was Natsuki doing or not doing that directly harmed Kise’s marriage? As far as her family is concerned she just disappeared, right? Maybe even moved to Tokyo, if Yuu really did tell their uncle that.

I knew the moment Natsuki started feeling relaxed and happy (and the last supper was mentioned) that trouble was near, but I could never expect that. The whole scene was shocking and suspenseful, and it was maybe because of this that in the end I found it almost hilarious, in a very dark way: Natsuki managed to end up slaughtering the whole Igasaki family while trying to just live her life away from them all. I just hope there are no remaining relatives.

The different reactions of the two men to her confession of having killed a man were priceless. Tomoomi was as alien in his thinking as always, but my heart warmed when Yuu suddenly became the boy of old, immediately understanding without judging, and remembering their oaths. Also, Natsuki outright confessed to the murder! No stories about witches. Right when she’s getting honest with herself and starts to relax, people decide to come for revenge. She just can’t catch a break.

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This sentence cracked me the hell up. You’re right, it’s absurd and hilarious.

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Not in any of them I have ever been to.
It’s normally a private room where you have a phone to call to the staff and order something. Sometimes it has a self serve bar instead or additionally. You would have to go out of your way to record it by some other means.
It shouldn’t be too hard to disguise a recording devise in any of the karaoke booths I was in at least XD.

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It was to be feared that their happy, naive alien life wouldn’t last. But this new outburst of violence was heavy and unexpected. I thought that Kise would pay them an angry visit but sending Igasaki’s parents was a far more malicious and cowardly manner of taking revenge. Wow!

I was somewhat surprised by the biblical references (Adam and Eve, the Last Supper). Is this so common in Japanese culture or is it a particularity of Natsuki’s family (also the ‘unconventional’ burying of the grandparents)?

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AAAAAAAH! I FINALLY CAUGHT UP! The struggle, the pain, the bloodshot eyes – all worth it. :partying_face:

[General Murata Comment] As @Phryne mentioned, we’ve reached the climax in a way that’s very Murata-esque.

What’s really piqued my interest by this point is the theme of family. Not that they knew their son was a pedophile, but this week’s reading really showcased two sides of the same coin: the lengths family will go through to “do right” by those close to them (debatable whether it’s actually right or not) and the lengths they can go to in order to tear someone down. Holy crud, it’s amazing how Kise (both sisters, really) never matured; never was there a moment where she thought, “Eh, I don’t think I need to hang on to this evidence anymore.” Fascinating. Simply because there was one thing Natsuki got that she wanted (and really shouldn’t have wanted, but I digress). Regarding @omk3’s question, no, I don’t think Natsuki has anything directly to do with Kise’s marriage falling apart. She just has never been able to stand seeing her sister happy, going all the way back to when Natsuki talked to Shizuka on the phone and got a swift kick in the back. (Kise sleeping around likely ties into her insecurities about her looks and being teased by her classmates for her “hairiness.”) Both have held on to certain parts of their childhood so tightly that it’s led them even further down the dark road their family was already on.

Also as @Phryne pointed out, the idea of love is completely missing: it’s certainly not a component in Kise’s relationship with Natsuki, you could argue that Igasaki’s parents act mostly out of anger and grief rather than love (not sure what Kise told them, but I’d certainly wonder why a child would kill my adult son), and it doesn’t fall anywhere within all the theories our “aliens” are coming up with. Is love rational? I don’t know; maybe? It makes sense to care about the people in closest to you in your in-group: they could provide “rational” things, like skills/resources, but they also provide camaraderie, something I’d say the vast majority of people need at least a little bit of. It felt good to those three to chat the night away, to spend time just talking about whatever came to mind. Surely enjoyment can exist within the realms of logic?

I also fear I know where we’re headed moving into the last week. At the same time, I’m sure there’s still surprises in store; not sure why Murata would stop surprising us now.

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I agree, which is why I am at a loss to explain Kise’s sudden outrage as shown in the multiple phone messages, which was presumably the trigger for sending Igasaki’s parents to Akishina. Kise (or anyone else) isn’t supposed to know where the three of them are (although it’s ridiculously easy to guess) or what they’re doing. Is she so sure that Natsuki is happy whatever she’s doing? Or is the fact that Natsuki has gone awol in the first place creating problems in her marriage, because her sister’s behaviour supposedly reflects on her? It’s very probably the latter now that I think about it. :thinking:

You got me curious. Did コンビニ人間 also come to a bloody conclusion? I thought it was a milder story. (I don’t mind the spoilers, as long as they’re not extremely specific)

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Honestly I think コンビニ人間 is kind of atypical in that sense, because that one doesn’t have gore unless you count Shiraha’s attitude lol. Though very typical in the social commentary on gender/family/sex/etc..

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…and unless you count Keiko hitting her classmate with a spade :upside_down_face:

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Rapid fire thoughts as I race to the to the finish line!
  • We finally get some semblance of the love/joy that was missing and then… Murder. Classic Murata.
  • When Natsuki first woke up I actually thought at first that the house had been consumed hit by landslide. Nope!
  • I found this murder scene a lot more gruesome then the previous one, in part because it wasn’t padded with any of the magical realism elements. On the one hand, good to see her not disassociate. On the other other… Is this any better? :woman_shrugging:
  • I agree with others that neither sister hasn’t really grown up, which is a shame… I was honestly surprised to hear about her extra-marital adventures, but then it’s all about appearance of marital bliss, not ACTUAL bliss. Makes the pressure she applied even more hypocritical.
  • Pretty sure I know where this is going… :flushed:
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